According to this story at CNet, Microsoft has been quietly working on improvements to its own technology for supporting subscription music services.
While Apple has been successful so far with its iTunes service charging 99 cents per song, Microsoft's approach should be different, they say renting music, rather than owning it could become more attractive to consumers.
You might remember recent stories like Roxio's acquiring music label rights as well as Napster technology for launching its Pressplay music service. Microsoft DRM technology would work together with such services to offer unlimited 'tethered' downloads to PCs and portable devices, they say music files would carry a clock in order to provide a "time out" feature, if customers don't pay their monthly subscription bills by a certain date, access to the files would be cut off.
In theory, the service would seem to offer more pros than cons, if you are constantly renewing the music you listen to and are able to download unlimited number of songs, you could get hooked up for an annual fee and get all the music you want, even download music for your family during the year and justify the cost of the service… now I wonder what would happen to CD burning.